Is God Blasphemed Or Praised

Years ago, I had several employees who were members of a large, worldwide church.  Some of these employees were good, hardworking individuals.  But two stand out in my mind.  One was totally unproductive – never seemed to accomplish anything.  The other falsified thousands of dollars in travel expenses.  It was easy to transfer these wrongs to the church that they represented.  And so it can be with us.  People are looking at us to see if we practice righteousness.  It should be obvious to them that we are Christians.  Our faith should be on our lips and our trust in God should be evident.  But if they also see laziness, lying, bad language, selfishness, sexual impurity, off color jokes, materialism or any of a number of other sins, it will first of all reflect on us that we are hypocrites – that we don’t practice what we preach.  But it will also reflect upon God, Jesus our savior, and the church.  Romans 2:21-24 “You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’ as it is written.”  God rightfully deserves glory, honor and praise.  But our actions can cause people to speak evil of Him and to blaspheme Him.  Why would these people want to submit to God and accept Him when it is obvious that his followers do undesirable things? Instead, our lives should draw people to God and cause Him to be glorified.  1 Peter 2:11-15 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”  We therefore need to be careful how we live our lives, not only before God, but also before the unbelievers.  We don’t practice righteousness to be praised by others,  but we live righteous lives so that God will be praised and not blasphemed.

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